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Social capital as good culture

Author: Luigi Guiso; Paola Sapienza; Luigi Zingales; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 13712.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
To explain the extremely long-term persistence (more than 500 years) of positive historical experiences of cooperation (Putnam 1993), we model the intergenerational transmission of priors about the trustworthiness of others. We show that this transmission tends to be biased toward excessively conservative priors. As a result, societies can be trapped in a low-trust equilibrium. In this context, a temporary shock to  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Luigi Guiso; Paola Sapienza; Luigi Zingales; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 190787234
Description: 1 online resource (1 volume).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 13712.
Responsibility: Luigi Guiso, Paola Sapienza, Luigi Zingales.

Abstract:

To explain the extremely long-term persistence (more than 500 years) of positive historical experiences of cooperation (Putnam 1993), we model the intergenerational transmission of priors about the trustworthiness of others. We show that this transmission tends to be biased toward excessively conservative priors. As a result, societies can be trapped in a low-trust equilibrium. In this context, a temporary shock to the return to trusting can have a permanent effect on the level of trust. We validate the model by testing its predictions on the World Values Survey data and the German Socio Economic Panel. We also present some anecdotal evidence that differences in priors across regions are reflected in the spirit of the novels that originate from those regions.

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